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Frequently asked questions

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Frequently asked questions

Accessibility

The Create South East website uses ‘User Way’ to assist readers. ‘User Way’ is activated by clicking on the icon in the bottom left-hand side of the website (the icon is a white figure in a blue circle).

If you would like any assistance in filling out the Expression of Interest form, or, have any questions which you would like answered verbally, then please ring our access line on 07874874616.

A large print version of our programme is available HERE

Braille and Audio Described information can be provided on request, either by phone 07874874616 or email: createsoutheast@wearecreative.uk

If there is anything else we can do to assist you, please let us know either by phone: 07874874616 or by email: createsoutheast@wearecreative.uk.

Who is eligible?

Businesses operating in Essex, Kent and Sussex who are part of the creative industries are eligible.

I’m a freelancer/sole trader, can I apply?

No. This programme is designed for businesses to become investment ready, so entities are required to be legally constituted and registered with Companies House.

I’m a Charity/CIC/not-for-profit, can I apply?

We know from experience that the legal structure of CICs and charities can exclude them from some types of investment. Please discuss your investment and growth ambitions with the programme team.

Are there any other eligibility criteria?

We are particularly keen to hear from companies working in the following target disciplines or sub-sectors: Design and designer fashion; Film, TV, video, radio and photography; Music, performing and visual arts.

The programme team, consulting with the diagnostic panel, will use balancing criteria to select businesses if there are more applications than available places on the programme.

What is a Creative Business?

For the purpose of this programme a Creative Business is a company registered with Companies House with creativity at its heart. DCMS’s definition of creative industries includes: Advertising and marketing; Architecture; Crafts; Design and designer fashion; Film, TV, video, radio and photography; IT, software and computer services (including Gaming); Publishing; Museums, galleries and libraries; Music, performing and visual arts.

What are the balancing criteria?

Balancing criteria include: stage of business and the company’s potential for ‘high growth’; target sub-sector; founder/owner demographics and locations within the South East area, that are under-represented in the overall applications.

I have a South East business but my company is registered in London for accounting reasons, can I still apply?

Yes. If this is the case we will require evidence of your activity in the South East area (Essex, Kent, Sussex). This could be an operational base, being part of the creative ecology, or having employees situated here, or other evidence of significant activity.

When can I apply?

Applications to the programme can be made from February 2023.

When does the programme start?

The programme will commence in April 2023 with rolling admissions onto 6 cohorts until 2025.

I don’t know if I am ready for the programme but I am interested in learning more?

Please fill in an Expression of Interest form and one of our team will contact you to find out more about your business ambitions. If we decide together that this programme isn’t a good fit for the stage your business is currently at, we will make referrals and sign post you to other opportunities wherever possible.

We will be running a series of virtual and in person open access events where you can meet the programme team and hear more about investment opportunities and the programme. Check out our News page for live events and pre-recorded information.

What are the Innovate UK competitions?

As part of the Create Growth national programme, Innovate UK are running funding competitions, to facilitate business growth in the selected regions. Competition 1 ran from Nov 2022 – 8th February 2023. Competition 2 is currently open until 10 January 2024.  Creative businesses in the Create South East region are eligible for the competitions and companies on our cohorts will be signposted to Innovate Competitions.

Is Create South East a grant programme?

No. However, as part of the Create Growth national programme, Innovate UK are running funding competitions, to facilitate business growth in the selected regions. Competition 1 ran Nov 2022 – Feb 2023. Competition 2 is in development and will be launched in Autumn 2023. Creative businesses in the Create South East region are eligible for the competitions and companies on our cohorts will be signposted to Innovate Competitions.

What’s it going to cost?

Create South East program is funded by DCMS and there are no costs for selected applicants.  However, successful companies will not be re-imbursed for their own time and maybe required to contribute to the costs of associated travel.

Am I guaranteed to secure an investor and how much investment will I receive?

No investment is committed or guaranteed through the programme. Applicants will have an opportunity to present their investment proposal to private investors.

What type of investors are involved?

The programme will connect you to a range of investors with experience across multiple sectors, not just creative industries. You will have the opportunity to engage with suitable investors from angels to institutional funds.

Where does the programme take place?

Create South East will be a hybrid program with both virtual and in-person engagements. At all times we will follow public health guidelines. In-person events will be held within the region (Kent, Essex, and Sussex).

How much time would I have to commit?

Create South East’s purpose is to support companies who are preparing for their investment journey.

As investment is a critical part of a company’s growth journey, we expect cohort members to stay with the programme from start to completion. This activity will be, on average, 2 days a month over a period of 9 months.

What will I get out of the programme?

Subject to your commitment throughout, by the end of the programme you will have, at minimum, an investment strategy and proposal designed to solicit growth capital. Companies will also benefit from informal discussions with appropriate investors to help shape their investment proposal.

Why is this programme only available to creative businesses?

This programme is part of the national Create Growth Programme funded by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

How long will it take the team to assess my Expression of Interest?

Please allow up to 4 weeks for a member of the team to get back to you regarding a submitted Expression of Interest.

Are you ready to make an impact with your creativity?

Are you ready to make an impact with your creativity? Create South East is here to help your business succeed. Our programme offers resources, mentoring, and funding to support creative, entertainment and media businesses. Talk to us about how we can work with you to turn your dreams into a reality and take your business to the next level.

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